The Nastiest Habits You Should Break
Almost everyone has a habit they’re not proud of, but we shouldn’t feel too guilty. After all, we’re only human. Still, it’s a good idea to try to at least make an effort to shed these. Remember, habits are nothing more than a learned behaviour repeated over time and there’s no reason these behaviours can’t be unlearned. Let’s look at some of the worst habits and what we can do to eliminate them from our lives.
It is probably one of the most common bad habits and also probably the worst. Smoking does nothing good for you: it doesn’t make you look cool or sexy, in fact, it makes your clothes, hands, and breath stink. Even worse, it can also cause long-term damage to your respiratory system while increasing the danger of heart disease and cancer, and less life-threatening but still unpleasant conditions like emphysema and erectile dysfunction in men. If that wasn’t enough, it’s also a very expensive habit to maintain. It sees smokers give hundreds of pounds a year to tobacco companies to effectively lower their lifespan. The good news is that there’s a lot of research around quitting smoking and a whole industry in place trying to make it easier for you to give up. Along with nicotine gum and patches, vaping and e-cigarettes have been a big help for people trying to quit: they give you a nicotine high whilst not flooding your system with the tar and carbon monoxide found in regular tobacco. While it’s not exactly safe per se, it’s a definite improvement and a bridge to cutting down and quitting altogether.
Let’s face it, when it comes to food, we all have our guilty pleasures but too much junk food can do terrible damage to your health. As well as leaving much to be desired nutritionally, junk food often contains chemicals and carcinogenic additives that raise the risk of cancer and heart disease. The simple fact is that our bodies were never evolved to deal with high volumes of refined sugars, carbs, sodium, and saturated fats on a regular basis, and constant exposure to them can leave you overweight with high blood pressure and lead to more serious conditions like diabetes. There’s a massive industry devoted to weight loss and healthy eating where you can find a lot of info. There are some easy steps you can take though: save junk food eating for a “cheat” day once a week. Try and replace unhealthy snacks with dried fruit and nuts or some celery and carrot sticks with a low-fat dip like hummus. You may not even have to lower your calorie intake, just try more of a whole-foods based diet where whatever food you buy isn’t more than three processes away from its natural state.
Most of us like a drink now and then, but for a lot of us, it can become a crutch for self-medicating everything from boredom to loneliness and depression. In excess, drinking can have serious consequences for our health, increasing the risk of heart disease and liver damage. That’s before we even consider the physical and emotional harm we could do to others and ourselves while under the influence. If you have a serious drinking problem and want to quit, it’s better to get help or join a group than to try to quit by yourself. Make sure you take up a hobby or a pastime to fill the hours that you’d normally spend drinking or hungover, as this can be a period of restlessness that induces a lot of recovering alcoholics to fall off the wagon. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or admit you have a problem. Quitting isn’t easy, but compared to the ravages of sustained alcohol abuse, it really is a no-brainer.
Some bad habits are easier to break than others but if a person has enough motivation, everything is possible. There are a lot of groups and communities for people trying to quit, so if you think that it’s too hard for you to do it on your own, you can always join them. Remember that there’s no shame in asking for help.